What’s the Difference Between Violas and Violins?

Are you familiar with the distinction between violas and violins? If not, have no fear – you are not alone! Many individuals are unaware of the distinction or believe they are synonymous. This blog post will compare and contrast these two instruments. You will be an expert in violas and violins after reading this post!

The distinction between violins and violas is that violas are larger, utilize a different bow style, have different strings, and have a different sound and tone. Furthermore, violas cost more than violins.

Bowed string instruments include the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Although their appearance is comparable, the viola is substantially larger than the violin. Generally, people pick between the violin and the viola depending on which instrument sounds better.

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The Viola




The Viola

The viola is the bowed string family’s second highest-pitched instrument. It has a higher pitch than the violin and is lower than the cello. This makes it a good instrument for filling in orchestral and chamber music harmonies.

The viola is not used as often in baroque and classical eras compositions. However, it is modern-day composers who use the instrument more prominently. Additionally, the viola can sometimes be found in popular music, in groups like The Velvet Underground.

Violin vs. Viola

There are five differences between the violin and viola.


The violin is a much smaller instrument than the viola. A typical full-size violin measures approximately 36 cm (14 inches), but a full-size viola measures approximately 40 cm (about 16 inches). However, while its size may vary, it is no less than 38cm. The instrument’s body is also wider and deeper.

The size of the viola is one of the first differences you will notice when looking at it and the violin. The difference is not very big, but it makes a big difference in the sound tone. The viola needs this extra size to be able to play lower frequencies.


The violin and viola each have their own bow. The violin bow is longer and thinner than the viola bow, and it weighs around 10 grams less. This is because the viola’s strings are heavier. As a result, a heavier bow is required to produce a clear sound at lower frequencies.

The frog on a violin bow is larger and curved. This is distinct from the straight edge on a cello bow. This variation in frogs is due to how you hold the bow to create distinct sounds. These distinctions may appear little, yet they significantly impact experienced players.


There are five-stringed violins and violas, but today we will talk about standard four-stringed instruments.

The violin strings are G-D-A-E, starting from the lowest one. The viola, like the violin, is tuned in fifths, but the high E is substituted by a low C one octave below middle C. Additionally, viola strings are slightly larger in diameter than violin strings.

That leads us to a noticeable difference: the sound.

Sound and Tone

The violin’s ability to generate high-pitched clear notes is frequently utilized as a solo or melody instrument. The viola produces lower notes than the violin, but not as low as the cello, and its tone is mellower. This makes the viola perfect for balancing out the sound of string instruments in an orchestra.

Treble vs. Alto Clef

The violin is the highest-ranking instrument in the family of bowed string instruments. This means that it is only played in the treble or G clef. The viola is the sole instrument that can be played in either the alto or C clef.

Occasionally, though, a high note may be written in the treble clef. As a result, violists frequently read both clefs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Violin for Kids

What Is the Best Age to Start the Violin?

The best time to start violin lessons is usually 4 or 5 years old. I require every young student below the age of 10 to come to lessons with a parent or guardian for the first year. Then they can continue attending lessons for years afterward if they want.

Is It Too Late to Learn the Violin?

Both music instructors and neuroscientists agree that learning music is never too late. It might be more challenging to learn to play the violin at age 50 than at age 8, but it is possible with the right outlook.

Should My Child Play Violin or Cello?

The cello is a larger instrument that takes more physical strength to play. However, children can get a good sound right away, unlike a violin. The cello also has a more natural playing position, and young cellists demand orchestras.

Can a Child Use a 4 4 Violin?

A violin that is 4/4 is also called full size. Children around 12 years old usually switch to this size, but it depends on how tall they are. Over 60 centimeters in length is required from the nape of the neck to the center of the palm. The approximate age for a 4/4 violin is from 11 to 13 years old.

What Is the Difference Between the Viola and Violin?

The most obvious difference between violins and violas is their size. Violas are bigger than violins, with an average body length of between 15.5 and 16.5 inches for adults, compared to the violin, between 13 and 14 inches.

How Much Does a Child-Size Violin Cost?

There is a vast range of violin pricing from $50-$500 for a kids’ violin to $600 for a more advanced instrument. However, many factors contribute to the price of a violin.

Are Cecilio Violins Good?

Cecilio is a trusted brand when it comes to musical instruments. They make high-quality beginner violins that are affordable. Cecilio stringed instruments are made by skilled luthiers, which ensures the quality of the instrument.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Violin, Kids?

You can learn a lot about playing the violin in your lifetime, but you will make the most progress in the first year. You will also make enough progress between three and five years to say that you know how to play the violin.

Can I Teach Myself to Play the Violin?

If you are passionate about learning to play the violin, anything is possible. Although learning an instrument on your own can be difficult, it is not impossible. In fact, learning to play the violin can even be accomplished without a violin teacher.

Is It Difficult to Learn the Violin?

This violin is one of the most difficult to learn. Some beginners seem to learn to play the violin perfectly in just two or three years of practicing. But usually, it takes much longer to become a master violin player. If you are a beginner, consider looking for violin lessons in Mississauga.

Is Violin Good for Boys?

Playing the violin has many benefits, including better posture, stronger upper body strength, and improved motor skills. These benefits come from practice, which is easier on your body if correctly placed.

Is It Too Late To Learn the Violin?

It’s never too late to start playing the violin! Most professionals start around age 3-5. That’s because the violin is a strange instrument for the human brain and body to learn how to play, and kids’ brains and hands are more adaptable at that age.

Is It Hard for Kids To Learn Violin?

The violin for kids can be quite a discipline. In the beginning, there is not much flexibility on how to hold the instrument or what to play. Kids will develop more flexibility over time, but things tend to be more regimented in the beginning months.

Is Violin Hard To Learn?

You may have realized by now that the violin is the most difficult musical instrument to master. Some people seem to learn it perfectly in just a couple of years, but it takes much longer for most people.

Are Mendini Violins Good?

If you are a beginner or intermediate violinist, Mendini is a great option. An excellent way to save money is to go with this option. The violins are almost all factory-made, and they come in at a reasonable $199 price point. Although the violins are inexpensive, they are long-lasting.

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